EVENT SUMMARY: This years PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf certainly didn’t disappoint, with unbelievable action both on and off the water. Monumental crowds gathered on the shores of Neusiedler See, and they were treated to extreme freestyle action day and night with the Chiemsee tow in event running alongside the PWA event each evening.
The inaugural day of the 2012 Freestyle World Tour was a relaxed affair as the wind remained light for the duration of Friday. Once the formalities of registration were out of the way, sailors were left to chill and enjoy the atmosphere encompassing the event.
Day two saw the first heats of the season sailed, with Adrian Beholz (The Sail Loft / Maui Ultra Fins) being the stand out sailor of the day. However it was day three when the action really hotted up, as the wind blew for the whole day, allowing the single elimination to be finished and the big guns to hit the water for the first time. Wild card entrant Andreas Lachauer (JP / NeilPryde) enjoyed a successful debut, beating Edvan Souza (RRD / Simmer Style) and Andy Chambers (JP / NeilPryde) on his way to the third round, before meeting his match against Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde). Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra) was sailing well but he couldn’t maneuver past Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) in the quarter finals as the top four from last years overall rankings; Steven Van Broeckhoven, Kiri Thode, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) and Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) dominated the semi-finals line up.
Gollito continued his charge to the winners final by knocking out Kiri Thode with an accomplished performance. Bonaire would have a representative in the winners final though, as Taty Frans maintained his impressive form to ruin the reigning world champion's day. Van Broeckhoven didn’t seem to have quite the same level of pop that is usually associated with him, as he struggled slightly in the underpowered conditions.
The winners' final consisted of 4x world champion Gollito Estredo and the King of the 2010 Podersdorf event, Taty Frans. Gollito was on fire in the final as he delivered a devastating display of the latest power moves, including an unbelievable flaka shaka flaka. The Venezuelan continued to go from strength-to-strength as the final progressed, and even an air chachoo from Frans couldn’t prevent Gollito from being crowned the champion of the 2012 PWA Surf World Cup.
The double elimination was started on day four, but with the conditions remaining marginal it was only possible to complete half of the first round heats by the end of the day, despite five hours of competition being attempted.
The final day of the competition offered a forecast with gusts of 16 knots in the afternoon. Unfortunately though the wind never materialized and the results from the double elimination were discarded. Although there was no further windsurfing action, the event on Tuesday was still showered with a party atmosphere, which continued long into the night as another famous party in Austria unfolded to conclude an epic event.
Results After Single Elimination
1st Jose Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / North)
2nd Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
4th Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde)
5th = Nicola Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point 7 / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th = Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra)
5th = Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui)
5th = Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra)
The freestyle fleets will return to action again on the 20th July. The world’s best freestylers will be battling it out in Sotavento, Fuerteventura. Before then though the slalom tour will be competing in Ulsan, South Korea between the 5th to the 11th of May.
DAY 4 : A BEAUTIFUL DAY BUT FRUSTRATING CONDITIONS ENSUE
Spectators were treated to yet more unbelievable weather as summer continued on the penultimate day of the PWA Surf World Cup. Competitors, however, endured a largely frustrating day. The forecast for Monday was always marginal at best and unfortunately this is exactly how the day panned out. The double elimination began at 13:30, but the wind proved too fickle to complete the first round, meaning results remained unchanged from yesterday’s single elimination. Four out of eight first round heats were completed by the end of the day.
The opening heat of the day, heat 26, saw local boy Max Matissek (Fanatic / North) make the most of the light winds. The Austrian was able to land a sick air flaka, which he then bettered by landing a brilliant shaka flaka. This proved too much for Rasmus Rahback Oegelund’s (JP / NeilPryde) as Matissek marched on. Andy Chambers (JP / NeilPryde) managed to sneak past Mattia Fabrizi (Fanatic / North) after a close encounter.
Adam Gavriel (Patrik / Simmer) advanced past Jeremy Pluss (Tabou) in heat 27. The Israeli sailed with more consistency throughout the heat compared to his opponent, and his efforts were rewarded with a place in the next round. Young Estonian Christofer Kalk (Fanatic / Gaastra) also progressed into round two ahead of Mauricio Alvarez (Patrik / Gaastra).
Heat 28 saw Loick Spicher (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) dispatch of Brazilian Danilo Da Silva (RRD / RRD), whilst the other side of the heat involving Yegor Popretinskiy (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) and Remko De Zeeuw (F2 / Gaastra) required a re-sail. In what was a close heat, both sailors crucially had a move missing from their score sheet, due to the committee boat moving whilst the two sailors went head-to-head, meaning they were out of the judges sight. When the heat was eventually re-sailed, it was Popretinskiy who came out on top. The Russian famous for his double spocks was able to land a ponch and a nice culo to swing the decision in his favour.
Heat 29 took the best part of two hours to complete, having been cancelled three times prior to a result being gained. In the end the result was harsh on Adam Sims, who had been the better sailor in the previously abandoned heats. Ultimately though it was Matthias Kraschitzer who performed better at the fourth time of asking and the Austrian advanced. Bryan Metcalf-Perez (JP / NeilPryde) seemed to be catching more gusts than anyone else, and he took full advantage as he delivered an impressive kono to book his place in the next round.
There was a single attempt to run heat 30, but once again the wind failed to deliver, resulting in another cancelled heat. Balz Muller (Patrik / Severne) will no doubt have been disappointed at the decision as he was sailing fantastically in the light conditions. Muller was able to land a double flaka, a switch flaka and a quite brilliant one handed shaka before the heat was abandoned.
After a slow day in Austria, which saw just four heats completed in five hours, the decision was made to end the day shortly after five o’clock. We’ll be hoping for a forecast change for the final day of the event tomorrow, but Neusiedler See definitely offers the potential for a surprise. The weather can change in the blink of an eye here, as we’ve seen so many times before. The skippers meeting has been called for 9am with the first possible start being at 09:30.
Tonight saw the final of the EFPT tow in event and it definitely didn’t disappoint with big moves being thrown left, right and centre. In the end Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde) was crowned champion after a super sick triple air flaka diablo. Jose 'Gollito' Estredo (Fanatic / North) produced a moment of magic with a funnel burner, but it wasn’t enough to budge Van Broeckhoven from the top. Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) completed the top three by jumping a perfect double air flaka diablo.
Last night was the final qualifying round of the tow in before Monday nights final. Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde) was the last rider of the first round to perform, but he instantly booked his place in the final with the highest scoring move of the last 3 nights. Van Broeckhoven delivered a sick triple popping flaka to blow away the rest of the competition. Joining him in the final would be Julien Mas (Patrik / Hot Sails) who popped an almost perfect culo, Dieter Van Der Eyken (Starboard / Severne), after the young Belgium landed his first ever burner in the tow in. The lucky fourth placed rider also progressing into the final went to Maarten Van Ochten (JP / NeilPryde / MFC).
Tow In Results
1st Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Jose 'Gollito' Estredo (Fanatic / North)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
DAY 3: Starboard crew in the single elimination. Right from the word go the wind was blowing on day three of the PWA Surf World Cup. This enabled the conclusion of the single elimination, on what was an enthralling day of competition. Another scorching day in Austria saw Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) eventually come out on top, after sailing magnificently for the duration of the elimination.
Heat 5 was the first heat of the day and this saw Bryan Metcalf-Perez (JP / NeilPryde) and Adam Sims (RRD) dispatch of their opposite numbers very efficiently as they progressed into round two. Heat 7 brought an interesting turn of events as Rich Jendrusch (F2 / Severne / Mystic) and Adam Gavriel (Patrik / Simmer) were tied, both on style and diversity. The inseparable riders were eventually split up, after a group decision, resulting in Gavriel progressing into the next round, after a painstaking wait to find out their fate.
Round two of the elimination resulted in one upset, as wildcard entrant Andreas Lachauer (JP / NeilPryde) knocked out the vastly experienced Andy Chambers (JP / NeilPryde). Lachauer took full advantage of the marginal conditions to earn his place in the third round.
The stand out heat from round two was heat 12. Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) was up against yesterday’s stand out sailor Adrian Beholz (Maui Ultra Fins), but there was little the German could do on this occasion. Thode put together the highest scorecard so far as he danced his way through the heat with moves such as a huge air bob, a shaka flaka and a sick regular kono to name just a few. With this performance Thode sent out a warning message to all of his rivals that he meant business.
In the quarter finals, Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra), who finished third here last year, was taken down by the inform Taty Frans. Despite landing a culo on his bad side and a super smooth double puneta, Scheffers didn’t have enough in the tank to dispatch of Frans, who wowed the judges with a fully planing culo and a monsterous kono. Meanwhile, Estredo was able to navigate past the French rider Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point 7 / Maui Ultra Fins), Kiri Thode continued his impressive form to advance past Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra), whilst the current world champion Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde) was able to fend off Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails).
The semi-finals consisted of Estredo, Thode, Taty Frans and Van Broeckhoven. Incidentally these four sailors made up the overall top 4 last year. Gollito unleashed a super technical shaka diablo and then threw down a sick burner, Thode responded with a switch chachoo 900, a sweet shaka flaka and an excellent culo. Unfortunately this wasn’t enough and Gollito booked his place in the first winners final of the year. Joining him would be Taty Frans as he managed to out perform the current world champion Van Broeckhoven, who looked underpowered. However nothing can be taken away from Frans who sailed an excellent heat, linking an unconventional ponch with a full speed e-slider and a switch flaka to seal the deal.
Kiri Thode sailed a brilliant losers final to secure third place in the single elimination. Thode quickly racked up numerous moves including a perfect air funnel into funnel and an outstanding air bob, as he took a strong hold over the heat. Van Broeckhoven, meanwhile, was struggling in comparison in the light winds, spending a decent amount of time off the plane whilst his opponent continued to bust out all the latest moves. Van Broeckhoven did manage to fight back with a flaka into ponch but by that point it was too late to recover.
The biggest heat of the day was timed perfectly for the strongest wind. Gollito and Frans were well powered and ready to treat everyone to a fantastic show of freestyle wizardry. Gollito sailed an astonishing heat and effectively gave Frans no chance of victory. Gollito jumped burners on both tacks followed by one of the tricks of the day, a stupendous flaka shaka flaka. Although Frans may not have won the winners final he certainly played his part. Frans made sure some of the limelight stayed with him as he popped an air chachoo out of nowhere to leave the judges astounded. Overall Gollito was on fire and obviously very determined to return to the top. He got his just rewards in front of a packed out crowd on the beach.
Saturday saw spectators arrive in their thousands, as they basked in the sun and absorbed the electric atmosphere of the PWA Surf World Cup. The morning started just as forecast, however it wasn’t until late afternoon that the first heats could be sailed. The majority of the fleet headed out onto the water earlier in the afternoon, but conditions remained too inconsistent for any heats to be completed at that point. By the end of the day four heats had been sailed.
Head judge Duncan Coombs made the decision to extend the heat length to ten minutes in an effort to start the single elimination. After two failed attempts, it was a case of third time lucky as heat one was eventually completed. Tony Mõttus (JP / NeilPryde) finally dispatched of Mattia Fabrizi (Fanatic / North), after displaying a greater level of diversity. On the other side of heat one Italian Nicola Spadea (Starboard / Gun Sails) put an end to Rasmus Rahback Oegelund’s (JP / NeilPryde) hopes of advancing into the second round.
Into heat two and the wind dropped a little, but this didn’t phase 17 year old Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde) as he put together a confident performance to ensure his inclusion in the second round. Paul Boef (Fanatic / Gaastra) and Mauricio Alvarez (Patrik / Gaastra) enjoyed a tight heat. Alvarez was off to a fast start as he quickly racked up a spock and flaka to put his opponent on the backfoot, but Boef battled back with a sweet shaka and clinched the tie with a text-book funnel.
The third heat provided the closest battle of the day between Brazilian Danilo Da Silva (RRD / RRD) and Frenchman Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / North), after a delay it was announced that Bosson was the sailor advancing by way of a 2:1 decision in his favour. The B-side of heat three saw both Jacopo Testa (RRD / RRD) and Remko De Zeeuw (F2 / Gaastra) falling a lot as they pushed for big moves in the light winds. De Zeeuw’s best moment came when he pulled a super clean cana brava but it wasn’t enough, as Testa regained his composure to progress.
The sailor of the day was without doubt Adrian Beholz (Maui Ultra Fins), who was involved in heat four. The young German demonstrated his full repertoire of tricks as he let loose against Lorenz Forstenlechner. Beholz landed anything from burners to e-sliders, but his best was a breathtaking rocket kono. Beholz showed what he is capable of today and it is bound to make other sailors sit up and take note. Forstenlechner was unlucky to come up against the inform Beholz as he sailed a solid heat, landing a stylish switch flaka and a kono of his own. Quincy Offringa (Starboard) safely negotiated his way through to the second round with an efficient display against Matthias Kraschitzer.
Despite a couple of attempts it was not possible to finish heat 5 today as the wind became too fickle late in the evening. It will now be the first heat sailed tomorrow.
Sunday promises to be a day of action with a better forecast than today. At the very least we should see the exciting conclusion of the single elimination. The skippers meeting shall be be a 9:30 with the first possible action taking place from 10am.
Last night saw the opening round of the EFPT tow in event. The ten riders were vying for a place in Monday nights final, with the top three going through. First up in front of the lively crowd were British duo Adam Sims and Phil Richards (F2 / Severne). Sims flamed a burner, whilst Richards delivered a slick one handed flaka after a shaky start. Nicola Spadea (Starboard / Gun Sails) responded with a flaka into ponch attempt but he couldn’t pull it off. Adrian Beholz and Bryan Metcalf-Perez (JP / NeilPryde) both crashed their respective moves, whilst Yegor Popretinskiy (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) delivered the best move of the night so far with a sick one handed flaka, but he was instantly outdone by local boy Max Matissek (Fanatic / North) who landed a perfect double flaka. From here on the level continued to rise, Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins) stole the show as he landed an outstanding Burner 180 and booked his place in the final.
Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) added some variation by pulling a super smooth double flaka diablo. Whilst his brother Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra) finished up the first round with a powerful burner. Despite a second round the top three remained unchanged, resulting in Nicolas Akgazciyan, Max Matissek and Taty Frans all progressing into the final.